From the time of its birth, the baby boomer generation (1946-1964) has significantly and uniquely changed our world. 2014 marks an important shift in American culture, as the last boomers turn 50. American Masters: The Boomer List, premiering nationwide Tuesday, September 23, 9-10:30 p.m. on PBS (check local listings), tells the story of this influential generation through the lives of 19 iconic boomers—one born each year of the baby boom:
1946 Tim O’Brien, Vietnam vet / author
1947 Deepak Chopra, M.D., New Age guru
1948 Samuel L. Jackson, actor
1949 Billy Joel, singer-songwriter
1950 Steve Wozniak, co-founder, Apple Computer
1951 Tommy Hilfiger, fashion designer
1952 Amy Tan, author
1953 Eve Ensler, playwright
1954 Julieanna Richardson, historian and founder, The HistoryMakers
1955 Maria Shriver, journalist
1956 Kim Cattrall, actor
1957 Virginia Rometty, CEO, IBM
1958 Ellen Ochoa, Director, Johnson Space Center
1959 Ronnie Lott, athlete
1960 Erin Brockovich, environmentalist
1961 Peter Staley, AIDS activist
1962 Rosie O’Donnell, entertainer
1963 David LaChapelle, artist
1964 John Leguizamo, actor
Intimate interviews by filmmaker/photographer Timothy Greenfield-Sanders (The Black List, The Latino List, The Out List) focus on these individuals’ exceptional achievements, struggles and identities, sharing the experiences of these extraordinary Americans and the history they lived through and often created. Subjects illuminate the key movements and changes that shaped the world during the baby boom years, discussing the environment; arts and entertainment; science; civil, LGBT and women’s rights; law; politics; public service; sports; the military; technology and media.
“When I learned about this year’s boomer milestone, I came up with the idea for The Boomer List,” says Greenfield-Sanders, whose past films include About Face: Supermodels Then and Now and American Masters — Lou Reed: Rock and Roll Heart. “The film captures the boomer generation’s dynamic spirit through 19 distinct ‘American Masters’ who had a profound effect on our world.”
“The Boomer List is a celebration of this generation’s impact on American culture. It is impossible to encapsulate in just a few words, but thanks to the talent both on camera and behind the lens, this remarkable film offers an incredible chorus of voices that somehow captures the zeitgeist of this era,” says Michael Kantor, executive producer of American Masters.
A DVD will be released via Another Perfect Day Films, and Greenfield-Sanders’ 19 large-scale master portraits of the film’s subjects will be featured in a companion coffee table book (Luxury Press), both available October 1. His portraits will also be part of an exhibition at the Newseum in Washington, D.C. “The Boomer List: Photographs by Timothy Greenfield-Sanders” opens September 26, 2014, and will be on display through July 5, 2015.
Launched in 1986 by series creator Susan Lacy, American Masters has earned 28 Emmy Awards — including 10 for Outstanding Non-Fiction Series since 1999 and five for Outstanding Non-Fiction Special — 12 Peabodys, an Oscar, three Grammys, two Producers Guild Awards and many other honors. Now in its 28th season on PBS, the series is a production of THIRTEEN PRODUCTIONS LLC for WNET. WNET is the parent company of THIRTEEN and WLIW21, New York’s public television stations, and operator of NJTV. For more than 50 years, THIRTEEN has been a partner with the tri-state community, using its rich resources to inform and inspire the passionate people of New York and the world to better understand and address the issues that challenge our diverse communities.
The Boomer List is a production of Another Perfect Day in association with THIRTEEN PRODUCTIONS LLC, American Masters for WNET. Timothy Greenfield-Sanders is director. Music by Neal Evans. Charlie Watt Smith is editor. Graham Willoughby is director of photography. Betsy Berg, Ingrid Duran, Michael Kantor, Susan Lacy, Catherine Pino and Michael Slap Sloane are executive producers. Timothy Greenfield-Sanders, Tommy Walker and Chad Thompson are producers. For American Masters: Junko Tsunashima is supervising producer, Julie Sacks is series producer and Michael Kantor is executive producer.
American Masters is made possible by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Rosalind P. Walter, The Blanche & Irving Laurie Foundation, Rolf and Elizabeth Rosenthal, Vital Projects Fund, Jack Rudin, The André and Elizabeth Kertész Foundation, Michael & Helen Schaffer Foundation and public television viewers. Major funding for The Boomer List is provided by AARP as part of its yearlong program, Boomers@50+, which celebrates this influential generation.
Major funding by AARP
As New York’s flagship public media provider and the parent company of THIRTEEN and WLIW21 and operator of NJTV, WNET brings quality arts, education and public affairs programming to more than 5 million viewers each week. WNET produces and presents such acclaimed PBS series as Nature, Great Performances, American Masters, PBS NewsHour Weekend, Charlie Rose and a range of documentaries, children’s programs, and local news and cultural offerings available on air and online. Pioneers in educational programming, WNET has created such groundbreaking series as Get the Math, Oh Noah! and Cyberchase and provides tools for educators that bring compelling content to life in the classroom and at home. WNET highlights the tri-state’s unique culture and diverse communities through NYC-ARTS, Reel 13, NJTV News with Mary Alice Williams and MetroFocus, the multi-platform news magazine focusing on the New York region. WNET is also a leader in connecting with viewers on emerging platforms, including the THIRTEEN Explore iPad App where users can stream PBS content for free.